About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Aloha, Candy Hearts by Anthony Bidulka

30. - 493.) Aloha, Candy Hearts by Anthony Bidulka – As in Amuse Bouche marriage is at the core of the plot. Russell is blind sided by an unexpected proposal from long distance lover, Alex Canyon, in Hawaii. Russell accepts even though he is ambivalent about marrying Alex. On his arrival back in Saskatoon flight companion, Walter Angel, is murdered at the airport. Russell finds that Angel has surreptitiously slipped him a crude treasure map of Saskatoon inscribed with cryptic poetic clues that Angel was bringing back to Saskatoon. With Angel the head archivist at the University of Saskatchewan it is no surprise the clues are historically based. To unravel them requires an extensive knowledge of Saskatoon history. I learned bits of Saskatoon lore from the story. Who knew archivists were treasure hunters with secrets worthy of murder? As Russell delves into the clues his personal life is in turmoil. He finds himself drawn to nursing home owner, Ethan Ash, who is already in a relationship. At the same time Russell’s good friends, Anthony and Jared, are getting ready for a spectacular wedding. (I was reminded of Doug and Greg’s fabulous wedding in Toronto last year which was a major social event in Toronto in 2008.) Deciphering the clues amidst the wedding preparations Russell is attacked by an unknown assailant driving a white Ford F-150 truck. Why do people keep trying to kill Russell with farm trucks? Is the farm truck becoming a signature Saskatchewan murder weapon? As the plot climaxes there is little doubt as to the killer’s identity. I wish there had another one or two plausible suspects. It was great to have Russell’s mother, Kay, with her trademark hearty Ukranian cooking back in the story and it is interesting to meet his hard living sister, Joanne. (She was certainly not patterned after Fran.) I love Russell solving a mystery back in Saskatchewan. I keep waiting for him to solve a mystery in rural Saskatchewan or is it too dangerous for Russell? There are a lot more farm trucks in the country than in town. Excellent. (Aug. 3/09)


  1. This book sounds like a good read and I will put it on my wish list. My dad is from Sask.
    and I lived in Yorkton for a while and being
    Ukranian it sounds very interesting to me.

  2. Thank you for the comment Marjorie.

    Anthony writes excellent Saskatchewan mysteries. I believe you will enjoy reading the book.

  3. I think this is a great title for a book! And the content sounds good too - wedding outfits for me, do you think? (You probably don't remember - I wasn't on your case back in 2011!)

    1. Moira: Thanks for the comment. Your question puts me in an awkward spot. To answer would result in a spoiler. I think you would enjoy the book if you read it.

      On clothes Russell's best known item of apparel is a pair of black wonder pants comparable to Kinsey Milhone's indestructible little black dress. I am sure you could do a post on these amazing fictional fabrics.